My research interest comprises anything that moves on the microscale:
How to move on the microscale? How do cells do it? What can we learn from that? How can we mimic cell’s motion or integrate biological components into smart microdevices that move autonomously and perform desired tasks.
Specifically, I am interested in studying sperm migration and thereby contributing to the understanding of reasons for infertility. Especially the influence of physical properties, such as surface morphology, charge and viscosity, on successful sperm migration have yet to be investigated. Mimicking in vivo conditions in the lab and investigating sperm kinetics and metabolism under these conditions is my main route for these investigations. In this approach, I am supported by Prof. Klaus Reinhardt and the Applied Zoology group (tudaz.net).
Furthermore, I aim to develop new diagnostic tools with the help of biohybrid microrobots. My goal is to equip sperm cells with smart components that are biocompatible, biodegradable and have the ability to
- sense changes in the immediate vicinity of the sperm cells while moving through different environments
- condition the sperm cells in order to allow a successful journey to the fertilization site.
These research areas have the mission to contribute to the understanding of sperm migration and reasons for infertility.